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Church records from the 15th and 16th centuries show that holly and ivy were bought in the winter. Private houses were also decorated with greenery at this time.
The precursor to the Christmas tree can be seen in the pole that parishes would decorate with holly and ivy.
In Germany, "Paradise Plays" were performed to celebrate the feast day of Adam and Eve, which was on Christmas Eve. A tree of knowledge was represented by an evergreen fir with apples tied to its branches.
In 1419, a guild in Freiburg put up a tree decorated with apples, wafers, tinsel and gingerbread.
In 1964, TIME magazine showcased a new Christmas trend - polyvinyl trees that looked more realistic than ever before.
Fifty years later, artificial trees still dominate the Christmas tree industry. They have a lower environmental impact when transporting them to retail outlets are factored in. But some argue that real trees support local economies.
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